Poland hopes Obama will back missile shield
WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Monday he hoped the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will press ahead with plans to install elements of a missile shield on Polish soil.
Warsaw agreed last August to station 10 ground missile interceptors as part of the global missile defense system Washington says will protect the United States and its allies from attacks by what it calls 'rogue states', notably Iran.
"I hope the new administration of President-elect Barack Obama, led by strategic security considerations, will continue the installation of missile defenses," Sikorski told a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Washington and Warsaw.
Obama, who is to be sworn in as president on January 20, has said he wants to be sure any missile defense system has been proven to work before it is deployed.
The plan, which also envisages a radar facility in the Czech Republic, faces stiff opposition from Russia, Poland's Soviet-era overlord. Moscow regards the plan as a direct threat to its own security.
(Reporting by Gareth Jones and Gabriela Baczynska)
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